This is perhaps the first real piece of post Celtic Tiger fiction, and is certainly a strong start. The descriptive text is absolutely lovely, and brings out a world familiar to anyone who's visited a town in rural Ireland since the crash.
The plot is well-paced and twisted, and the characters are all sympathetic and beautifully observed. But the landscape is a major character, especially the ghost estate of Brianstown but also the small apartments and suburban houses of the other characters. It's a novel that really feels Irish in terms of place as well as people. The use of the internet feels real too, unlike so many books that try (and fail) to be both socially and technically correct about computers and crime.
My only real criticism is that some poor copy-editing let through some jarring non-Irish expressions that should really have been caught: "muffler" instead of silencer, "airplane" instead of plane, for example. These jump out precisely because the text is so flowing and crisp.
Finished on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700. Rating 5/5.